Morrissey can sue NME over 'racist' claim

Morrissey spoke of his "delight" after a judge ruled yesterday that he had the right to sue the music magazine NME over an article which he claims branded him as a racist.

NME and its publisher, IPC Media, sought to block the singer's action, but Mr Justice Tugendhat ruled yesterday that it be allowed to proceed.

In a statement, Morrissey said: "I am delighted that the NME's attempt to stifle my claim was unsuccessful and that as a result I will be able to use the very public forum of the High Court in London to clear my name."

He said the 2007 article, following an interview in which he discussed the effects on the UK of immigration, "viciously attacked me and labelled me a racist and a hypocrite".

In the article, Morrissey was quoted saying: "The gates of England are flooded. The country's been thrown away." The 52-year-old singer had been expected to attend yesterday's hearing but is preparing for an imminent United States tour.The trial is unlikely to take place before next summer.

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